Hamilton Academical primed to lose keeper Michael McGovern

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Michael McGovern replaced Martin Canning as Hamilton captain
Michael McGovern has 10 caps for Northern Ireland and will play in the Euros this summer

Martin Canning says Hamilton Academical are realistic about the prospect of losing goalkeeper Michael McGovern and defender Ziggy Gordon this summer.

The Accies boss admits McGovern's involvement in Euro 2016 is bound to attract interest in the soon to be out-of-contract Northern Irishman.

"If he moves on I'll be the first to shake his hand and thank him for everything he's done for the club.

"Ziggy falls into the same category as Michael," Canning told BBC Scotland.

McGovern, 31, has 10 caps for Northern Ireland, who will play Germany, Ukraine and Poland in Group C in June.

The former Dundee United and Falkirk man took over as Accies captain after Canning became manager.

"He's a fantastic person, a great professional and a very good goalkeeper," said Canning, whose side have won their last two matches and could secure their top-flight status by beating Kilmarnock at New Douglas Park on Saturday.

"Guys like Michael deserve to go and test themselves and play at the highest level they can.

Hamilton's Ziggy Gordon battles with Danny Williams of ICT
Ziggy Gordon, 23, has spent his entire youth and senior career with Accies

"Ziggy's also out of contract in the summer and wants to see what else is available for him, which is his right to do so.

"I think he's been here since under-10s so he's been a great servant to the club.

"He's a really driven, hungry young boy and wants to play at the highest level he can. If that's with us for another season or two then we're delighted to have him."

Midfielder Ali Crawford, another Hamilton youth product, has also been the subject of speculation about a move.

But he is contracted until 2018 and Canning played down the prospect of the club selling the 24-year-old to generate funds.

"We don't need to be cashing in on Ali," he added. "It's not a case at all of trying to punt him about to try and get rid of him; we would rather keep Ali here. We won't be actively looking to move him on.

"He started the season really well and had a wee dip when he broke his hand and did his groin as well. Now he's starting to get back to what we expect of him and he is a talent."

'It's important to keep calm and believe'

Accies defender Lucas Tagliapietra has praised boss Martin Canning for calmness under pressure this season
Lucas Tagliapietra has praised boss Martin Canning for not panicking this season

Meanwhile, Accies defender Lucas Tagliapietra has praised Canning for remaining calm under pressure as the club seek to secure their Premiership status.

A 2-1 win over Dundee on 9 April was their first home win in nearly seven months, a run of 12 matches that featured seven defeats.

But after a second straight win at Dundee United last weekend, Hamilton now sit seven points ahead of Saturday's opponents Kilmarnock, who occupy the relegation play-off spot, with four games left.

"The most important thing for me is that as a manager he didn't change or panic when we went through a difficult spell," the Brazilian told BBC Scotland.

"That was a great thing for us getting back on track and getting confidence back.

"We all learn through difficult times. It's always important to keep calm and believe, because the quality is here and it's all about faith and hard work."

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport